Winter is one of the most difficult times for cars, and they are significantly more prone to fail than at any other time of year.
Organization for road safety and breakdown recovery GEM Motoring Assist has compiled a list of five important tips for drivers to ensure trouble-free winter travel.
According to GEM, paying attention to batteries, tyres, antifreeze, wipers, lights, and other vehicle needs now is the best approach to ensure reliability in the coming months.
“Winter weather tends to catch us by surprise, with extra pressure on our breakdown recovery network to deal with flat batteries, starter motor malfunctions and tyre problems,” Neil Worth, the chief executive of GEM, said.
“The last thing anyone needs on a chilly morning is to break down.” Because prevention is usually better than cure, you may considerably reduce the danger of a breakdown in the coming months by paying attention to a few winter maintenance needs.”
- Check the battery and charging system to ensure peak performance. A percentage of calls to GEM’s breakdown control center this winter are over dead batteries. Cold weather puts a lot of strain on outdated batteries, so replace them early to minimize the inconvenience of a breakdown. If your battery appears to be running slower than usual, have it checked right away. Similarly, if the red battery warning symbol on the dashboard glows, get the battery checked.
- Ensure that the anti-freeze levels in your car’s cooling system are adequate to prevent the water in your engine’s cooling system from freezing. To guarantee that this is done correctly, GEM suggests that you consult your local dealer or a competent mechanic.
- Check that all of your car’s lights, both inside and out, are working properly. Clean them on a regular basis to keep them clean so that you can see and others can see you.
- Throughout the winter, check the tread depth and pressure of your tires on a weekly basis. Good tyres will ensure that your vehicle’s safety measures are as effective as possible. GEM advises a minimum tread depth of 3mm (the legal minimum is 1.6mm) to distribute significantly more water from the road and reduce the risk of skidding and losing control.
- Check your windshield wipers, both front and back. Check that they are in good functioning order, and top up your screenwash with cold weather washer fluid on a regular basis. To clear ice, do not use the windshield wipers, as this can soon cause damage.